I swear I’m not making this up: The Vatican just launched what can only be described as a FitBit for prayer.
Officially, it’s the “Click to Pray eRosary,” which you wear on your wrist so you can keep track of your prayers. It turns on when you make the sign of the cross. (I can’t believe the word “iPray” appears nowhere in the press release.)
How much for this gift that virtually no young person would ever want? Just $110… for something that even Catholics would tell you is free. Consider it a modern indulgence. If you’re a tech-savvy young person who still takes Catholic dogma seriously — a huge overlap, I’m sure — this is the present for you.
Aimed at the peripheral frontiers of the digital world where the young people dwell, the Click To Pray eRosary serves as a technology-based pedagogy to teach the young how to pray the Rosary, how to pray it for peace, how to contemplate the Gospel. Therefore, this project brings together the best of the Church’s spiritual tradition and the latest advances of the technological world.
Physically, the device consists of ten consecutive black agate and hematite rosary beads, and of a smart cross which stores all the technological data connected to the app. When activated, the user has the possibility to choose either to pray the standard rosary, a contemplative Rosary and different kinds of thematic rosaries that will be updated every year. Once the prayer begins, the smart rosary shows the user’s progression throughout the different mysteries and keeps track of each rosary completed.
Perhaps it’s useful for those elderly believers who have genuine difficulties keeping track with analog rosaries, but that’s about it. Just because you can modernize an ancient ritual doesn’t mean you need to. Plus, if the Vatican really wanted to cater to the altar boy demographic, the least they could’ve done was include a panic button.